Christian Longsworth

OEF 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Newark, NJ

Staff Sgt. Christian Longsworth, 26, a Special Forces weapons sergeant assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, died May 19, 2006, when he was fatally struck by enemy small arms fire during a combat patrol in the Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan.

Longsworth, a native of Newark, N.J., enlisted as an infantryman in 1998.

His first assignment was with the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment at Fort Drum, N.Y., where he served more than two years. In 2001, he transferred to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., where he served for almost three years as a member of the 6th Ranger Training Battalion cadre team. He rose to the position of Ranger Instructor before volunteering to become a Special Forces Soldier.

Longsworth graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course in February 2006 and was assigned 3rd Bn., 7th SFG, as a Special Forces weapons sergeant. He deployed in March to Afghanistan.

His military education also includes the Warrior Leader Course, Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, Basic Instructor Training Course, Ranger Course, Pathfinder Course, Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course, Special Forces Qualification Course, Basic and Advanced Airborne Courses, and Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape Course.

Longsworth’s awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Expert Infantryman Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab and Special Forces Tab. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for Valor, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge.

He is survived by his mother, Cecilia and daughter, Jaylin Araya of Newark, N.J. He is also survived by his brother, Roy Longsworth of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.